Avast Secure Browser - Getting Started

Avast Secure Browser is a web browser with built-in security and privacy features to keep you safe online. This article contains instructions to start using Avast Secure Browser.

This article assumes that the latest version of Avast Secure Browser is already installed on your PC. For detailed installation instructions, refer to the following article:
This article assumes that the latest version of Avast Secure Browser is already installed on your Mac. For detailed installation instructions, refer to the following article:

Avast Secure Browser is a web browser with built-in security and privacy features to keep you safe online. This article contains instructions to start using Avast Secure Browser on Android.

Avast Secure Browser is a web browser with built-in security and privacy features to keep you safe online. This article contains instructions to start using Avast Secure Browser on iOS.

This article assumes that the latest version of Avast Secure Browser is already installed on your device. For detailed installation instructions, refer to the following article:

Open the Security & Privacy Center

The Security & Privacy Center is a console of tools and features that allow you to manage your online activity.

Most features are enabled by default to offer our highest level of security and privacy. Via the Security & Privacy Center, you can personalize Avast Secure Browser by manually enabling or disabling certain features. You can also access tools such as Private Mode, Privacy Cleaner, and Hack Check.

To access the Security & Privacy Center:

  1. Double-click the Avast Secure Browser icon on your Windows desktop to open the browser.
  2. Click GoApplications in the Apple menu bar, then double click the Avast Secure Browser icon to open the browser.
  3. Click the green Security & Privacy Center icon to the right of the address bar.

The Security & Privacy Center is now open. Click a tile to learn more about a feature.

For more information about the features available in the Security & Privacy Center, refer to the following article:

Set your default browser

To make Avast Secure Browser your default browser:

  1. Open Avast Secure Browser and click the green Security & Privacy Center icon to the right of the address bar.
  2. Click Make default in the banner at the top of the screen. If a banner does not appear, Avast Secure Browser may already be your default browser.

Avast Secure Browser should now be your default browser. To verify this, go to Menu (three dots) ▸ SettingsDefault browser.

Import browser data

Avast Secure Browser allows you to import bookmarks, browsing history, search engines, saved passwords, and auto-fill form data from several popular web browsers, or from an HTML file.

For more information about importing browser data to Avast Secure Browser, refer to the following article:

Add a new bookmark

  1. Open Avast Secure Browser and navigate to the web page that you want to bookmark.
  2. Click the star icon in the address bar.
  3. Provide a name to help you easily recognize the bookmark, then use the drop-down menu to specify a location for the bookmark.
  4. Click Done to confirm.

The web page is now bookmarked. Depending on the location you specified, you can access the bookmarked page either directly via the Bookmarks bar (below the address bar), or by clicking the Other bookmarks folder.

The web page is now bookmarked. Depending on the location you specified, you can access the bookmarked page either directly via the Bookmarks Bar (below the address bar), or by clicking the Other Bookmarks folder.

If you do not see the Bookmarks bar, go to Menu (three dots) ▸ BookmarksShow bookmarks bar.
If you do not see the Bookmarks Bar, go to Menu (three dots) ▸ BookmarksShow Bookmarks Bar.

Adjust Adblock

Adblock helps prevent advertisements from loading on the web pages you visit, which improves the speed and safety of your browsing sessions. Adblock is enabled by default.

To adjust the strength of Adblock:

  1. Click the Adblock icon to the right of the address bar, then click Settings (the gear icon).
  2. Select your preferred Adblock mode:
    • Essential: Blocks all ads that violate the Acceptable Ads Standard, including pop-ups and auto-playing videos.
    • Balanced (recommended): Blocks the same ads as Essential blocking, but additionally blocks other non-intrusive ads to improve the speed and safety of your browsing sessions. Some ads that are helpful when searching online will still show in this mode.
    • Strict: Blocks all ads. We do not recommend selecting this mode, as it may cause websites to not load properly, or even make certain websites completely inaccessible.

Adblock is now enabled and configured according to your preferred strength. For more information about Adblock, refer to the following article:

Change the default search provider

To define which search engine is used in your address bar:

  1. Open Avast Secure Browser and go to Menu (three dots) ▸ Settings.
  2. Scroll to the Search engine section, and use the drop-down menu to select your preferred search engine.

Your search engine is now defined.

Enable Secure Browser VPN

Available in Avast Secure Browser PRO, choose if you want to disguise your location using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

To enable browser VPN:

  1. Open Avast Secure Browser and click the VPN icon to the left of the address bar.
  2. Click the OFF slider so that it changes to ON.
  3. Optionally, click the location panel to search for your preferred location or select one from the list of options.

Secure Browser VPN is now enabled.

Start secure browsing

  1. Tap the Avast Secure Browser icon on the Home screen of your device. The app opens to the main browser screen.
  2. Select from the following actions:
    1. My Account: Tap the account icon and sign in with your Avast Account to sync your browsing data across multiple devices. For more information about syncing Avast Secure Browser, refer to the following article:
    2. Upgrade now: Tap to purchase an Avast Secure Browser PRO subscription.
    3. Upgrade now: Tap to purchase an Avast Secure Browser PRO subscription.
    4. Security & Privacy Center: Tap the green icon to open the Security & Privacy Center tools and features to manage your online activity.
    5. Search or type URL: Tap the search bar, then enter a search term or website URL to start browsing the internet in Secure Mode.
    6. Add Shortcut: Tap the + plus icon to bookmark your favorite websites.
    7. Menu: Tap Menu (three dots) to access the browser menu options.
    8. Tabs: Tap the square tabs icon to view browser tabs that are currently open in each browser mode.
    9. Search: Tap the search icon to access the browser search bar.
      The search icon changes to a home icon when you are browsing a website. Tap the home icon to return to the main Avast Secure Browser screen.

To learn more about the features available in Avast Secure Browser, refer to the sections in this article.

Change browser modes

Avast Secure Browser offers three browser modes: Secure Mode, Secure & Private Mode, and Custom Mode. Each mode applies different security and privacy settings to the tabs you open within that mode. This allows you to organize your browsing activity according to the privacy settings that best suit the sites you visit. By default, all new tabs opened from the main browser screen open in Secure Mode.

To open a tab in a different browser mode or to view currently open tabs organized by browser mode, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Avast Secure Browser, then tap the square tabs icon at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Tap the icons at the top of the screen to switch between modes. If you have any tabs currently open, these are visible on the applicable mode screen.
    1. Secure Mode: a balance of security and privacy. Does not delete browsing data and history when you exit the browser. Disguising your location with VPN is optional. Ads & trackers are blocked (balanced mode). Do not track is on, and connections are upgraded to HTTPS.
    2. Secure & Private Mode: truly anonymous, incognito browsing. Deletes all browsing data and history when you exit the browser. Your location is disguised by VPN. Ads & trackers are blocked (balanced mode). Do not track is on, and connections are upgraded to HTTPS.
    3. Custom Modes: (available in Avast Secure Browser PRO) create, customize, and save your own set of security and privacy preferences when browsing.
    4. Custom Modes: (available in Avast Secure Browser PRO) create, customize, and save your own set of security and privacy preferences when browsing.
  3. To open a new tab in the selected mode, tap the green + plus icon, then search for or enter the URL of the site you want to open.

The new tab opens in your selected browser mode. Tap the home icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen to return to the main Avast Secure Browser screen.

Adjust browser mode settings

You can optionally customize the security and privacy settings for each browser mode. To access browser mode settings:

  1. Tap the square tabs icon at the bottom of the main Avast Secure Browser screen.
  2. Select your preferred browser mode using the icons at the top of the screen.
  3. Tap Settings (the gear icon).
  4. Select from the following options:

Browser VPN

Choose if you want to disguise your location using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Available in Avast Secure Browser PRO, choose if you want to disguise your location using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

  • Enable: tap VPN is OFFVPN OFF, then tap the gray (OFF) slider so that it changes to green (ON).
  • Disable: tap VPN is ON, then tap the green (ON) slider so that it changes to gray (OFF) and tap Change setting to confirm.
  • Enable: tap VPN OFF, then tap the X (OFF) slider so that it changes to green (ON).
  • Disable: tap VPN is ON, then tap the green (ON) slider so that it changes to X (OFF) and tap Change setting to confirm.
To change your disguised browser location from the default location or turn on device-wide VPN you need an Avast Secure Browser PRO subscription.

Block Ads & Trackers

AdBlock prevents advertisements from loading on the websites you visit. This improves the speed and safety of your browsing sessions. AdBlock is enabled by default and set to Balanced mode. To change the AdBlock mode:

  1. Tap AdBlock is On.
  2. Tap the circle next to your preferred AdBlock mode:
    • Balanced (recommended): blocks most ads to improve the speed and safety of your browsing sessions. This includes pop-ups, banners, auto-playing videos, and some social media ads. Some ads that are helpful when searching online will still show in this mode.
    • Essential: blocks disruptive ads that violate the Acceptable Ads Standards. This includes pop-ups, banners, and auto-playing videos.
    • Strict: blocks almost all ads. This includes pop-ups, banners, auto-playing videos, some social media ads, and 99% of other ads. We do not recommend selecting this mode because it may cause some websites to not load properly, or even make some websites completely inaccessible. If you do select this mode, tap Set strict to confirm your choice.

Your preferred AdBlock mode is set.

You can also add websites to your allowed ads list. This means ads still appear on the websites you specify. To add a website to your allowed ads list:

  1. Open the website.
  2. Tap the Security & Privacy Center icon in the top-right corner.
  3. Tap the green (ON) slider next to Block ads on so that it changes to gray (OFF).

The website is added to the allowed ads list and ads are now visible when you access the website using the current browser mode. Ads on other websites continue to be blocked according to your browser mode settings.

To remove a website from the allowed ads list, open settings for the relevant browser mode, select AdBlock is OnAllowed ads list, then tap the trash can icon next to the website name.

Do Not Track

Do Not Track is enabled in Secure Mode and Secure & Private Mode to stop websites from tracking your online activity. It is only possible to disable this setting using a Custom Mode in Avast Secure Browser PRO.

Do Not Track is enabled in Secure Mode and Secure & Private Mode to stop websites from tracking your online activity. It is only possible to disable this setting using a Custom Mode in Avast Secure Browser PRO.

Secure DNS over TLS

To change your Domain Name System (DNS) from the default selection, tap Secure DNS over TLS, then select your preferred DNS. With an Avast Secure Browser PRO subscription you also have the option to add a custom DNS.

Search Engine

To change your default search engine, tap Search Engine, then select your preferred search engine.

Delete Browsing Data on Exit

Custom Mode only: choose if you want Avast Secure Browser to automatically delete all open tabs, history, cache, and cookies when you close the browser.

  • Enable: Tap the gray (OFF) slider next to Delete Browsing Data on Exit so that it changes to green (ON).
  • Disable: Tap the green (ON) slider next to Delete Browsing Data on Exit so that it changes to gray (OFF).

Delete Tabs on Exit

Custom Mode only: choose if you want Avast Secure Browser to automatically delete all open tabs when you close the browser.

  • Enable: Tap the gray (OFF) slider next to Delete Tabs on Exit so that it changes to green (ON).
  • Disable: Tap the green (ON) slider next to Delete Tabs on Exit so that it changes to gray (OFF).

Additional settings

The following additional download and data settings are also available for each browser mode:

  • Download without asking: Tap the gray (OFF) slider so that it changes to green (ON) to enable Avast Secure Browser to immediately download files without prompting you to first confirm that you want to download the file.
  • Manage Custom DNS Nodes (Avast Secure Browser PRO): Add or remove custom DNS nodes from the DNS list.
  • Close all tabs now: Tap to immediately close all open tabs in the selected browser mode.
  • Clear cookies: Tap to immediately clear all cookies in the selected browser mode.
  • Encrypted cache: Tap the green (ON) slider so that it changes to gray (OFF) if you do not want Avast Secure Browser to encrypt your cache data in the selected browser mode.
  • Switch connection & delete: Tap the gray (OFF) slider so that it changes to green (ON) if you want cookies and cache data to be automatically deleted every time you connect or disconnect from the VPN or change your VPN location in the selected browser mode.
  • Close all tabs now: Tap to immediately close all open tabs in the selected browser mode.
  • Clear cookies & data for this mode: Tap to immediately clear all cookies and browser data in the selected browser mode.
  • Restore default settings: Tap to return the browser mode to the default settings.

Access menu and settings options

Open Avast Secure Browser and tap Menu (three dots) at the bottom of the main browser screen to access menu options such as:

 

Select Settings for the following options:

  • Security & Data settings: PIN code, fingerprint, and face unlock options.
  • Browser Security, Privacy & Data: PIN code, Touch ID, and Face ID options.
  • Device-Wide VPN Settings: allow all of the apps on your device to connect securely to the internet via Avast VPN servers (available in Avast Secure Browser PRO).
  • Secure DNS over TLS: change your Domain Name System (DNS) from the default selection.
  • Web Shield: an added layer of protection against fake websites (available in Avast Secure Browser PRO).
  • Web Shield: an added layer of protection against fake websites (available in Avast Secure Browser PRO).
  • Browser Appearance: switch the app to dark mode.
  • Install Avast Widgets: add shortcuts to Avast Secure Browser from the Home screen of your device for faster and more convenient browsing.
  • Device-Wide VPN Settings: allow all of the apps on your device to connect securely to the internet via Avast VPN servers (available in Avast Secure Browser PRO).
  • Set as default browser: set Avast Secure Browser as your default browser so that URL links always open in Avast Secure Browser.

Further recommendations

For more information about Avast Secure Browser, refer to the following article:

  • Avast Secure Browser PRO 91.x for Windows
  • Avast Secure Browser 91.x for Windows
  • Avast Secure Browser 91.x for Mac
  • Avast Secure Browser PRO 5.x for Android
  • Avast Secure Browser 5.x for Android
  • Avast Secure Browser PRO 3.x for iOS
  • Avast Secure Browser 3.x for iOS
  • Microsoft Windows 10 Home / Pro / Enterprise / Education - 32 / 64-bit
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 / Pro / Enterprise - 32 / 64-bit
  • Microsoft Windows 8 / Pro / Enterprise - 32 / 64-bit
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic / Home Premium / Professional / Enterprise / Ultimate - Service Pack 1, 32 / 64-bit
     
  • Apple macOS 10.15.x (Catalina)
  • Apple macOS 10.14.x (Mojave)
  • Apple macOS 10.13.x (High Sierra)
  • Apple macOS 10.12.x (Sierra)
  • Apple Mac OS X 10.11.x (El Capitan)
  • Apple Mac OS X 10.10.x (Yosemite)
     
  • Google Android 6.0 (Marshmallow, API 23) or later
     
  • Apple iOS 13.0 or later
  • Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

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